Been battling the cycle for 13 years now

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Doppelgaenger
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Been battling the cycle for 13 years now

I'm so glad I found this place. My husband has been addicted on and off for 13 years now. As some of you know I'm sure, there are good days and bad days, but I'm just so drained anymore. I can't keep on this battle. It all started in with Asheron's Call, and since then it's been anything from WoW, Aion, Eve, Guild Wars.. his newest addiction is Ingress, which makes it all the more painful because now he's not even home anymore. He plays when he drives, and I'm scared to death he's going to get in an accident. He leaves at all hours of the night to go cycling, wandering in dark parks (we live in a large city with fairly high crime, I don't need to mention what a bad idea *that* is)

I have done what so many of us have done - I've cried, I've yelled, I've bargained. I even tried to turn the tables on him, and every time he logged into a game I'd open up a bottle of wine.. I'd get drunk to show him how awful it is to have a spouse with an addiction, but in the end he didn't care so I gave up that try. (which looking back was stupid and embarrassing, but I was at my wits end) I even separated from him, moving across the state for months when he lost a job to gaming and wasn't compelled to find a new one (we had to move in with his parents because of that, and I just couldn't handle that, living with my inlaws so my husband can stay home all day to play his games.) he ended up coming back to me, begging me to come back, that he would change. And he did, for a bit. You all know the cycle.

But now, we have kids, we have a home, we have a huge stack of bills, and it doesn't matter to him. Nothing matters but the games. He barely comes home at night anymore, and I'm left trying to come up with excuses so the kids don't get heartbroken over where Daddy is. I'm embarrassed, I have no one to talk to about this. I've been thinking about just packing up and moving again, with out, live with my dad for a bit, but my oldest is in school and I can't do that. I don't want to be here with him when he's like this, to walk into the room and see the glow of the monitor and the back of his head, if he is even home anymore. It would be easier if he was cheating on me, because at least then I could feel like he found someone else, but no.. He wants games over real people, over his wife, his kids. and that hurts more than anything I can think of.

Doppelgaenger
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oh wow sorry - I didn't know

oh wow sorry - I didn't know it didn't automatically add breaks inbetween paragraphs! sorry for the huge wall of text there :/

Patria
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Excessive gaming can be an

Excessive gaming can be an addiction. And from personal experience, as much an addiction as a drug.

I would suggest going to Nar-anon, families/friends of Narcotics Anonymous. Many gaming addicts here attend NA or open AA meetings for a program of recovery.

If you go to Nar-anon, which I highly advise, they can help you recover from living with an addict. And he definitely sounds like an addict, although I can't diagnose him as such.

There is nothing you can do to change him. Nothing. Unfortunately. But there is a lot you can do to help yourself and your kids to either live with this in a happy way, or if you choose to leave, you can do so to protect yourself and family.

I am both a recovering alcholic and gaming addict (game-free two years), and I'd rather be the addict than live with one. But I did live with an practicing alcoholic for 8 years before he achieved sobriety. All the things I did to get him sober never worked. Once I went to Alanon (Nar-anon for you) I learned how to take care of myself and the kids and not "buy into" the addict's insanity. It worked.

Glad you are here, hugs.

Doppelgaenger
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oh it is an addiction for

oh it is an addiction for him, with out a doubt in my mind. Even he has admitted he's addicted to games. It doesn't matter what game, at least I feel comforted in that he hasn't discovered casinos yet!

I have made an appt in a few weeks to see a marriage counselor - I have mentioned to him just a few weeks ago if he thinks therapy would help, but he sort of brushed me off. The problem is of course, he's addicted, he knows he's addicted, but he doesn't want to change. He doesn't want to quit. If counseling doesn't work, we ether need to find a happy medium, or separate. I as an adult can see he is using games as a crutch, but it's not fair or right for the kids to have to cry because daddy is off playing ingress (it's a GPS based game you play on your phone or tablet, so you have to be out at certain locations around town to play the game) or if he is home, they are talking to the back of his head as he gets frustrated because he just wants to play Guild Wars or whatever game it is he plays now.

It's just so embarrassing for me. I have no one I can talk to about this. I'm having to lie to his mother about why I need her to watch the kids so we can go to counseling, you know how mothers can be about their sons, and she would think I was just being ridiculous dragging her son to counseling. I can barely find time to even go to counseling with him, there is no way I could find time to go to support meetings. I'm in charge of everything household and kid related. If I left him in charge of the kids so I could attend meetings I'd come home to see the kids still awake, unfed, and watching tv, plus since I never leave the house like that, he'd ask a million questions where I was and probably would think I'm just over reacting to everything.To say I'm co-dependant is a bit of an understatement. I have no life outside the home anymore.

LearningSerenity
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Welcome to OLGA,

Welcome to OLGA, Dopplegaenger. I'm going to begin by giving a "ditto" to everything Pat said (except the parts about alcohol and marriage...:D). OLGA is a support network, but it sounds like you've got enough on your plate that a f2f meeting like Nar-anon would be enormously helpful.

You husband appears to be a gaming addict, which means that gaming is first and foremost in his mind, and everything else comes in second (if it makes it in anywhere at all). Speaking from my own experience as a gaming addict, if I hadn't ever been in a position where my only option was to deal with the reality of my addiction and its consequences, I never would have changed. The only reason I started doing the things that I need to do in order to stay game free was because NOT doing those things was becoming more painful than DOING those things. If somebody was around to make excuses for me, take care of all my responsibilities, and shower me with attention to boot (even if it wasn't always positive), I doubt I'd be any different now than I was...say...five months ago.

Waiting for him to change his ways is kind of like waiting for pigs to fly...it's just not going to happen. You said that you believe that you're codependent, and although I'm hardly an expert, I have to ask...are you willing to start trying to address your codependency? You're worth WAY more than what the addict you live with realizes, and probably a lot more than YOU realize. I got abused for a while by somebody I once trusted, and he was able to do it only because I didn't value myself highly enough to refuse to let him abuse me. I don't know if that's the underlying issue for you or not, but people only have as much power of ME as I GIVE them. I gave somebody power that I shouldn't have given him, and now that I've taken that power back, his ability to hurt me has been drastically reduced. Right now, your husband has plenty of power in your life, and he's made it clear that he has no problems using it to hurt you. There are things you can do to start taking that power back, and it would be awesome to hear about you trying some of them (there's some really good stuff  here). Is he going to get nastier if you start trying some of these things? Probably. Are you worth standing up for? Absolutely.

Whatever you do, please don't just go on hoping that something will change on its own. Addiction doesn't work like that...it will keep making everyone miserable up until the addict decides that he is tired of being miserable and is willing to do the hard work of recovery. Give a shot at doing some of the things in the sticky, and let us know how it goes. You aren't alone, belive it or not. You also aren't alone in thinking that what is being done to you is wrong, which means you've got a whole fan base over here hoping to see you start doing the things that you need to do in order to be happy yourself regardless of whether or not your husband wants to see it happen. Hugs...

When you're going through hell...keep going. --Winston Churchill There is no pit so deep that God is not deeper still --Corrie ten Boom

hadenough48
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same situation

I've been married for 11 years and my husband has been a gaming addict the entire time, with periods of resentful inactivity due to my nagging, begging, etc.  Now it is Ingress.  He leaves all hours of the day and night. It is mortifying to have family and friends over because he will just run out and stay gone for hours.  I'm left to explain what he's doing and why I tolerate it, which I wouldn't if not for our child.  We have been in counseling for a couple of months.  I know this is an old thread, but I'm wondering how Doppelgaenger is doing now.

Polga
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Welcome Hadenough48

Welcome Hadenough48

Thanks for your share. Glad you have found us.

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